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N00Z from teh G33k
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
posted
Although I disposed of my business of building and repairing high performance PCs some time ago, I try to stay current on Geekthings.

So I'm going to pontificate on some points that hopefully Barthmobile Forum members will find redundant redundant.

New issue: Mozilla/Firefox Web Browser has been found to have a plethora of security holes (meaning that Bad Things can happen if one uses this browser). A patch is not yet available.

Routine: Meaning that these are things one should do to minimize the possibility of a successful attack by hackers on one's PC.

Firewall: Windows XP has a firewall (you do download updates at least weekly, don't you, Bippy?). Activate it.

Like most Microsoft apps, it's halfhearted and marginally effective, so, one should download and install, at the least, the free version of Zone Alarm.

With a bit of exploration, if one uses DSL or cable, there is also an option for activating a hardware firewall in the modem. I can't help you here, but it's worth reading the instructions or at least a call to Tech Support.

Anti-Virus: This should run all the time, screening (especially) your email, and it's VITAL if you use Outlook Express. The pay-money-for AV programs are OK, but I rely on AVG (The paid version for my main PC, freeware for the other two).

Anti-Spyware: Spyware is perhaps the most insidious in the hackers' arsenal, and unfortunately, many "legitimate" websites employ spyware or 'bots to track your web surfing habits (I'm NOT making this up!)

Spyware consists of a wide variety of intrusions into your PC, and none should be tolerated.

At the least, you should have Ad-Aware SE (and this is a legitimate download site) installed and exercised weekly.

A very useful adjunct to A-A SE is Spybot Search and Destroy, which should be also run weekly.

One of the worst forms of spyware is the "rootkit" (Sony had one on some of its CDs). This is one that is (fortunately) pretty rare, and the firewall should prevent infection by most. Nevertheless, if you find your PC slowing down unexpectedly, or exhibiting strange habits, you may have a rootkit infection. PM me, and I can help with programs that will help you determine if you have one. Plain old spyware is, thankfully, the usual culprit.

Anyway, some common sense precautions:

1. Never click on an imbedded link in email unless you know the originator, and that the originator has some sense of PC security; one of the easiest ways for virii and other crud to propogate is through email.

2. Never open email from someone you don't know.

3. Pay some money and get Mailwasher Pro, which allows you to screen email, and delete it from your email server without downloading it. You can also blacklist and bounce unwanted email.

EDIT 09/02/09:

I'm adding another effective anti-malware app, Malwarebytes.

If you're looking for apps (and reviews), cnet and Major Geeks are reliable repositories.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/16
Picture of Bill N.Y.
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I like using the Mozilla/Firefox Web Browser when viewing certain pages. I will go back to the IE browser now that you warned me. Is it good enough just to stop using it or should it be uninstalled?

My question is... why would my aol browser not give me a new since last visit. It shows stuff from 2 weeks ago till today. The only thing that doesn't show up as new content on the forum page is the Star Gazing and Barth Video's. My Mozilla/Firefox Web Browser shows stuff that's only a few hours old.

I'm sure it some type of setting or something like that but I haven't been able to track it down. Any thoughts?

I use the Ad-Aware and Spybot search and destroy, very good programs to have. Another program I like to use is CCleaner.

One more question. I have signed off and sometimes (very rare) I get a screen that says..

Copying

backing up personal storage.


Should I be concerned? What and where is it backing up?

Bill N.Y.
 
Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
posted Hide Post
Latest g33k-n00z is that there were far fewer security holes than previously reported - there were 30 as of last weekend, but now (as of 10.3/06) it's been determined that all were exploitations of the same single flaw. That has yet to be patched, and as far as I can tell, it concerns only JavaScript.

Mozilla (developer of Firefox) has confirmed the hole, and has determined that (I'll save the techno-babble) it's not a major breach. I agree that its danger to the casual user is minor.

More as things unfold.

Short version: Go ahead and use Firefox, and keep that firewall up-to-date (that should detect and thwart any intrusions based on the hole).


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 4/09
Founder and Moderator Emeritus
Picture of Dave Bowers
posted Hide Post
Thanks guys,

My Linux infested neighbor keeps wanting me to switch to the brand X browser. I have downloaded it several times and have found it wanting.. Billy boy gets my biz for now.

I run McAfee stuff now and am satisfied. It checks my email, firewalls my wifi, and checks for virus while I am asleep.


 
Posts: 790 | Location: Eden Prairie, Minnesota | Member Since: 02-07-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bill N.Y.:
I like using the Mozilla/Firefox Web Browser when viewing certain pages.


LOL. Smiler


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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I would also add that I never open an attachment the same day it comes in, even from a good source.

I received an Email with at attachment from a friend of 40 years. I was suspicious because it was not a jpg or what he normally sends me. I had Norton check it, and it was OK. I did an update on my Norton definitions, and it still was OK. The next day or so, I checked it again, and Norton said bad bad bad.

I called my friend, and he said he hadn't sent me anything. It turned out a virus took over his computer and sent out the virus before Norton got the definition of the virus.

So, a virus can be so new that it can get past protective stuff.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
posted Hide Post
quote:
Copying

backing up personal storage.


Should I be concerned? What and where is it backing up?

Bill N.Y.


I'd check that one out, although it's likely a local app, but it could be something AOL has installed.

As for the AOL Browser, well it's AOL...

ANtway, to check out what programs startup on booting your PC, go to Start/Run. Type in msconfig, enter. Go to Startup Tab. This will show most applications that run on bootup.

I can't tell you what to look for on the "backup" specifically, but something may show up. Some Startup entries are a bit cryptic.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
posted Hide Post
This just in: Microsoft has announced a veritable plethora of "fixes" of which six - to the system shell - are important. The other five are four for Office and one for Microsoft.NET, and are probably of no use to Barthmobile Forum users.

Fixes will be available Wednesday 10/10.

You should run "Update" now, as fix MS06-055 plugged a serious hole in IE6 (Internet Explorer v6)

Use your Windows Update button in the Start Menu - and it's not a bad idea to enable automatic updates...


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Old Man and No Barth
posted Hide Post
Jeez, am I glad I've got a Mac.
 
Posts: 1612 | Location: Upper Left Corner | Member Since: 10-28-2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
posted Hide Post
For many (maybe most) users, Apple is the way to go, despite the overpricing of their products (maybe the extra price is worth the lack of hassles?)

But things are changing. The Mac will now use Intel CPUs, which means that just about any PC can run the Panther/Jaguar/Tiger OS (Operating System). And you can be sure the hackers will steal the OS and install it on their PCs.

This means that hackers will now have a dual-use machine, where before, they would have had to buy a Mac to engage in nefarious behavior, and to hack Unix, which is much more secure than the bloated Windows.

Because the Mac OSs are akin to Unix/Linux, IMHO, this means that within six months, Macs may start to see attacks. The Mac OSs may or may not be vulnerable; the question is, is the lack of "Mac Attacks" due to the OS, or due to lack of interest on the part of hackers....

What this also means is that Mac users will now have to step up vigilance...and hopefully, nothing will emerge. It's been twenty years since I last dealt with Unix, so all I can do is relay info as it arises regarding Mac security holes.

I hope I'm totally wrong.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/16
Picture of Bill N.Y.
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rusty:
quote:
Copying

backing up personal storage.


Should I be concerned? What and where is it backing up?

Bill N.Y.


I'd check that one out, although it's likely a local app, but it could be something AOL has installed.
it's looks like a local app. It doesn't open in a browser window and it looks just like the screen does when I'm backing up applications
quote:
Originally posted by Rusty:
As for the AOL Browser, well it's AOL...
LOL... I've heard that before. There are some web sites that if you use the @aol.com they laugh at you in the forums.

I like to think of a hot rod that looks like junk but takes your pink slip when your not looking. Big Grin

Bill N.Y.
 
Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Old Man and No Barth
posted Hide Post
Re: Macs & Intel CPU's. The Intel chip gives Macs the ability to run PC software, but I'm not sure it works the other way. I suspect the Mac chip is not identical to the PC chip, though I'm sure the hackers will try to figure a way around any kind of poison pill that tries to keep them out.

Intel gives the Mac the capacity to run PC programs, but still requires special software, currently available in 2 forms, an expensive one that includes the latest edition of Windows, & a cheaper one which, apparently, just gives you a Windows desktop & the ability to install & use your own Windows software.

IMHO the basic reason Macs have been less-susceptible to the vandals is as Rusty says - they're harder to hack, & there aren't enough of them to make vandalism worthwhile.
 
Posts: 1612 | Location: Upper Left Corner | Member Since: 10-28-2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/16
Picture of Bill N.Y.
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I fired off my IE browser for the first time in months and found that the AOL browser and the IE browser both shows the same for...

... new since last visit. It shows stuff from 2 weeks ago till today. The only thing that doesn't show up as new content on the forum page is the Star Gazing and Barth Video's. Just like the AOL Browser.

Bill N.Y.
 
Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
posted Hide Post
Microsoft updates are available now. Go to Start Menu/Updates, and inflict them upon your ownselves...


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/16
Picture of Bill N.Y.
posted Hide Post
How do we tell what ports in the computer is open? How do we figure out which ones are safe to close down? How do we open/close them?

Bill N.Y.
 
Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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